Monday, June 21, 2010
Verrazano Narrows Bridge up ahead.
My first view of the New York City skyline.
Awe-inspiring Statue of Liberty
Entering New York Harbor
The impressive New York skyline.
George Washington Bridge
West Point Academy up the Hudson
I last reported on Friday - the upper Chesapeake route past Annapolis to the C & D Canal which connects the Chesapeake to the Delaware Bay. Saturday I made my way down the Delaware to Cape May N.J. Mostly good water until the last 20 miles when the south wind came up the Delaware from the Atlantic and made things rough again - nothing like Thursday though. Sunday I traveled from Cape May to Manasquan, NJ where today I would enter the Atlantic for the 30- mile trip to New York Harbor. While in Cape May I visited a sailors’ memorial honoring those lost at sea from the port there. The names began in the 1800s and continued up to 2009. Most of these were commercial fishermen lost at sea due to storms. Up past Atlantic City on Father's Day, the water in the bays was choppy due to a large number of boats out for the sunny weekend weather.
Today, perhaps the most memorable so far, the Atlantic Ocean permitted my passage - the intercoastal waterway up the east coast ends at Manasquan, NJ and one is forced to travel "outside" to reach New York and the Hudson River. I was apprehensive about this for several days beforehand due to potentially bad conditions on the ocean. Luckily, the winds remained light out of the northwest and when I left the Manasquan Inlet at 6:30 this morning the Atlantic was glass-smooth with just one-foot swells allowing me to travel a mile offshore at 25-30 mph north towards Sandy Hook and into one of the busiest seaports in the world. About an hour into the trip I could make out the New York skyline which caused unexpected emotion about this great city and country.
Approaching New York harbor with all its navigation markers from the Atlantic in a 23-foot boat seemed surreal. It will be an unforgettable experience. I managed to stay away from approaching ships in the shipping channel as the Empire State Building and other recognizable landmarks came into view. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge loomed ahead and shortly thereafter "she" came into view. I spent some time circling the Statue of Liberty and taking pictures. A patrol boat and tourist boats were the only vessels nearby while I contemplated the role of Liberty for millions of Americans who came to our shores and applied for citizenship - a disappointing contrast to becoming a "citizen" today.
Heading up the Hudson past Coney Island, Governors Island, The Battery, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island, I had to watch out for water taxis that ferry people across the Hudson and appear rather quickly from behind or either side - so, I had drive like a taxi driver as I headed north on the Hudson, thinking about Captain Sullenberger's heroic action putting the loaded jet into the waters I now traveled.
On my way north I passed many names in American history such as the George Washington Bridge, Tarrytown, Ossining, Peekskill, Stony Point, Nyack, Scarborough, and the native-stone walls and parapets of West Point (what a sight). I arrived in Newburgh from where I will depart for Troy tomorrow and the beginning of the Erie Canal Wednesday. Unfortunately I will be unable to meet Sandy and Scott, Joanne's sister and husband who live in CT. Scott teaches CPA and MBA classes, in addition to their CPA business, and Tuesday was to be an all day commitment for which a substitute is not available.
"He who dares, wins.” The motto of the British SAS.